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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Any tips on giving my rats Baytril through a syringe? It's easy on the sick one as she can't fight it, but the other two are really making it hard. Mixing it with baby food doesn't seem to help because they don't seem particularly interested in it.

Any tips or tricks you guys might have?
 

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Personally, I just quickly syringe it in their mouth, hold them (so they can't wipe it off on the ground), and then wipe something yummy on their lips (such as baby food or melted chocolate) so that in order to lick the yummy stuff, they're forced to swallow the medication.
 

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you can always scruff them and just jam the syringe in there and squirt the meds on the very back of their tongue. it's nearly impossible to work up something that has already started sliding down the throat. might sound harsh but it's not really, i do it with kittens all the time. :p
 

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Being that forceful can sometimes injure the rat, though. I used to do that method also, until the rats would spit blood out right after.
 

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Erk, that sounds horrifying, Night.

I don't know what I'm gonna do when I get the meds for Milly, she's pretty strong, and I don't know if she'll bite me if she's really vexed. The yummy food option sounds safest for both of us.
 

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I just make a 'rat burrito' by wrapping a towel around the rat and forvce the meds in. Amelia won't finish the meds if I mix it, so this is the best way for it to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, looks like I've tried all that so far. I have one rat that so far it's been near impossible for me to give medicine to when I'm alone. And she poops all over me.
 

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She's pooping because she's scared. There's a certain way you can hold them so that they can't get away. If she is smaller, you can hold her so that her bottom is against your stomach (so she can't back away) and loop your fingers underneath one front leg and over the other - this keeps her from moving forward.

That's the best way I've found to keep Doris still when her teeth need checking or I want to check for lumps. I've not tried medicine, but it may work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She's sadly my biggest rat. She's also the most unsocialized. I think giving medicine this time around will be rough, but the more I can socialize her to humans the better I think it'll get in the future.
 

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Well, i've always had the best success medicating the bigger rats - more to hold on to ;). Speaking of which, it's time for Amelia's meds.....
 

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Night said:
Being that forceful can sometimes injure the rat, though. I used to do that method also, until the rats would spit blood out right after.
i'd just like to note that it's not supposed to be forceful. o_O if your rat was spitting blood you were pulling on something wrong and too hard. you can wrap them up if you need to, but you just scruff and squirt, it's very quick and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OnlyOno said:
you can wrap them up if you need to, but you just scruff and squirt, it's very quick and easy.
It's not that easy for me :( They still move too much. Maybe I need a better grip on the scruff?
 

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I don't scruff at all. I sit down, have the rat lying on my lap, put my hand over their chest (try to keep their front legs below your hand so they can't push the syringe away), pop the syringe in the side of the mouth on an angle and squirt. Do not take deep breaths, do not prepare yourself just do it...before the rat reads what is going on and starts to squirm. I offer baby cereal afterwards to get the taste out of their mouth and as a treat for being good ratkids. :) They know a treat is coming and some of them grab the syringe now :O.

Poor Dilbert shows the angles to use


Here is my 6:10 am morning routine for the next 2 weeks



I actually timed it.. I was able to medicate 8 rats in 12 mins :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, you win on the medication front. It takes me at least 15 minutes but maybe even 30 minutes to medicate three rats.

Of course, one issue I have is that one rat is very afraid of me at the moment. It's difficult to get her out of the cage, she doesn't care for it one bit.

I suppose I'll just need a better grip on them. I imagine it gets better with practice. I have 1.5 days left on two of them, and another 6.5 left on the easiest one that's been through this all before.
 

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It definitely gets better with practice! A few months ago I had to medicate my WHOLE crew (at the time I had 12 rats) twice a day with Baytril, Doxycycline, and eye drops. Along with that, I had to give three rats sub-Q fluids. The first time I had to do all that, it took me over an hour. Near the end of the course of treatment, I was down to about 10-15 minutes! :p
 

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Oh sorry I forgot.

I also lean forward over their bodies, hold them and then lift them up with their back on my chest. Then they can't jump backwards, more secure for all...then I pop the meds in...I discovered this works the best. :)

good luck...I remember those days of struggles :D
 

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My only real tip with those who struggle is to get the medicine in them the FIRST time! A couple of my rats absolutely despise getting medication, and if I miss their mouth or something the first time around, they will know what's coming and will just continuously fight more and more. The first try they usually don't even know what you're doing!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lilspaz,

So the two ways you do it is to have them on their back in your lap, held firmly, or to also hold them with their backs to your chest?

Night,

I've certainly noticed how they don't really see it coming the first time around, which is always funny to me. It usually isn't even until I actually squirt the medicine that they figure out something is up and I'm not just holding them funny.
 

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Hey, night, maybe that wasn't blood they were spitting out, maybe it was porphyrin?

I've found that the old scruff n squirt worked pretty well, while just holding around the neck was harder. Also, putting the syringe in the side of the mouth lets you put it behind the little flap of skin that they can fold down to keep stuff from going down the throat.
 

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cjshrader said:
Lilspaz,

So the two ways you do it is to have them on their back in your lap, held firmly, or to also hold them with their backs to your chest?

Night,

I've certainly noticed how they don't really see it coming the first time around, which is always funny to me. It usually isn't even until I actually squirt the medicine that they figure out something is up and I'm not just holding them funny.
No sorry, that pic of Dilly was him on his back so I could show his mouth and angles. Sadly I live by myself and photographing myself doing something is like...impossible...hahaha.

They lie on their bellies on my lap then I bend over them, so their back is on my chest, lift, and medicate. It'll get easier the more you do it I promises. :)

The next time a friend is over I'll get them to take a pic of this :)
 
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